With expected heavy rainfall, storm surges and possible hurricane conditions, Harvey could become the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas since Ike in 2008.
A hurricane warning was issued Thursday morning for a section of the Texas Gulf Coast covering an area from Port Mansfield to Matagorda.
The Air Force already detected winds of about 60 miles an hour there, and tropical storm conditions should start during on Friday.
Gov. Greg Abbott preemptively declared a state of disaster in 30 counties, and he’s ordered the State Operations Center to “elevate its readiness level as the storm approaches,” offering any resources needed for preparation, rescue and recovery.
Director of the Texas Office of Emergency Management, Chief Nim Kidd, says that his agency has been working with local authorities because, while Abbott has made state resources available, it’s up to mayors and county judges to manage emergency responses and order evacuations in their communities.
Kidd says Harvey is set to be a very dangerous storm, not just because of the winds or storm surges but because of the rainfall.
“Some of our models are predicting 20 to 30 inches of rain over a two-to-three-day period. And there are very few places in Texas that can stand that kind of rain and have adequate runoff without causing major flooding,” he says.
Written by Caroline Covington.